Transportation | August 26, 2008 |
Fleet Owners Want Their Fords Electrified
GreenCarCongress has news that the Canadian conversion company Envia has just received an order for electric and plug-in electric trucks for a Canadian disaster relief business, Angel Restoration.
Envia converts Fords into plug-ins or all electric models with more torque than the gasoline model Ford supplies, and with speeds up to 99 miles per hour.
The range is shorter than the gasoline model, depending on which battery is chosen - from between a 50 to 125 mile range between recharges. They are FastCharge capable in less than three hours using 220 volt, and of course can be recharged each night like a cell phone in household 120-volt plugs. Range is less of an issue in commercial use where a truck can recharge at the work site as well as at night, and commercial FastCharge EV infrastructure is gradually taking shape to supply new electric vehicles that extra daytime jolt.
I spoke with Jay Giraud the owner of Envia yesterday and he told me that most of his work has come from fleet owners who contact him to have their current fleet converted to EVs or PHEVs, but he also converts even brand new Fords.
Giraud's company shares a large building with fellow EV enthusiast David Gilroy's business bmcmotorworks where finishing touches are being made to a new Rapid Electric Vehicles showroom targeted for opening in October. Envia also partners with local Ford dealer Metro Ford to provide charging stations and for parts and service on the EVs he has converted. They will continue to honor the Ford warranty on Envia's conversions. Giraud is currently working on creating a solar partnership to provide the power for the charging stations.
For the average commercial truck driver the difference between the high cost of gas and the low cost of electrons can make for enormous savings that more than justify the cost of the conversions. Giraud says that the conversion expense has a pay back time of about four years for a truck in typical commercial use, which is not bad. The other big incentive of course is that your company benefits by looking good as your fleet powers up to the work site. The disaster relief company can know it's looking angelic with its new, earth-friendly fleet.
It looks as if fleet owners are finding a solution to the high cost of running gasoline vehicles, and Giraud's company is profiting from a peak oil world. Its bad news for Ford when their best customers need to get their great commercial trucks re engineered to meet their needs, but the customer is always right.
As Wired puts it, it's been a really Ford Tough year for Ford.
Photo by Flickr user desolateplaces